HMM has sold a 50% stake in its subsidiary Total Terminal International Algeciras (TTIA), which operates a container terminal in Algeciras, Spain.
The South Korean liner operator said in a filing to the Korea Exchange on 18 June 2020 that it is planning to sell the stake for KRW59 billion (US$48.57 million), to strengthen its liquidity.
Originally owned by Hanjin Shipping, which went bankrupt in February 2017, TTIA was sold to HMM seven months later. HMM wanted to acquire more container terminals to reduce its handling costs as it sought to restore profits.
An HMM spokesman described the buyer of the 50% stake a “strategic business partner” to Container News.
The spokesman said, “HMM is trying to secure liquidity by attracting a new investor and to earn stable income from the operation of the terminal, by setting up a joint venture with the strategic business partner. After the stake sale, HMM maintains its managerial control and remains as a major shareholder.”
TTIA’s shareholding structure is such that HMM holds a stake of 100% + 1 share, meaning that the liner operator retains a controlling interest even after selling half its interest.
The buyer’s identity was not revealed for confidentiality reasons.
The sale requires approval from the European Union, the Spanish and South Korean governments and the directors of HMM and the prospective buyer, as well as the Port of Algeciras Bay Authority
The Port of Algeciras Bay Authority awarded the concession to TTIA in July 2008, and the facility is located on the Phase A plot of the Isla Verde in the Strait of Gibraltar. The terminal can process up 1.8 million TEU annually.